Barnes and Noble Displays Their Racism

Sunday, March 1, 2009


A Barnes and Noble bookstore in Coral Gables, FL recently came under fire for a window display featuring various book titles with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michell Obama. Prominently featured in the center of the window display was a book on monkeys.

The implication is clear and clearly intentional.

After the ensuing outrage, Barnes and Noble issued a mea culpa claiming their hands were clean. They blamed a nameless, anonymous customer for adding the book on monkeys to the window display without their knowledge.

This episode is just the latest in a string of vicious, racist attacks on Mr. Obama and his wife. The Rupert Murdock owned NY Post got in hot water over a cartoon featuring a chimp being shot by police under the headline “stimulus package.” This was followed by the disclosure the mayor of Los Alamitos, CA had distributed a cartoon showing the White House lawn covered in brilliant green watermelons.

Sorry folks, but I’m just not feeling this post-racial America thing now that we have an African American president. If anything, the signs and images of racism have increased. It’s as if the election of Barack Obama has given every racist clown Carte Blanche to crawl out from under their rocks and don their Klan robes. Racism in America is alive and well, and sadly, even the election of our first Black president has failed to tamp it down.

H/T: The Field Negro

This entry was posted in Michelle Obama, News, President Barack Obama, Racism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Barnes and Noble Displays Their Racism

  1. Dave says:

    Something seems fishy about that apology. While I am by no means a B/N expert, aren’t those displays usually set up in the window behind the cash registers? So how would a customer get to it???

  2. I agree, Dave.

    Sounds like the work of an employee who had access to the display window and who dislikes President Obama.

    After the NY Post cartoon and the mayor of Los Alamitos, CA, I give up.

  3. Idaho Librul says:

    I don’t remember if I posted this during the primary but there were several really insidious episodes of racist attacks on Obama 2008 campaign posters.

    The signs had to be replaced and local cops basically said they thought it was kids and they could do anything about it.

    Knowing Idaho as well as I do, it was more likely the police who were responsible between bites of their donuts.

  4. Aunt Peg says:

    Not the least bit funny, Barnes and Noble.

    Shame on you.

  5. kellybelle says:

    Day-um! I hope it was a joke or a mistake by a customer. Sometimes I move Ann Coulter books to the humor section.

  6. Harry says:

    Onetime I ‘accidentally’ spilled a cup of coffee on Ann Coulter’s book. The whole thing was ruined.

  7. Peace Nick says:

    Coral Gables, FL?

    Please. Rich, white, and Republican. I bet they had requests from customers to fix the display in that special southern way.

  8. bradfrmphnx says:

    I saw recently where hate groups have almost doubled in the last year.

    Clearly some leeway has been made with racism or Obama would not be POTUS. But that small minority that ruins it for everyone else, seems to be trying to find a voice somewhere.

    I have twin daughters in junior high school. Recently they have been making innuendos towards Mexican kids. Nothing big, but a little out of line, and usually meant in jest. I have told them that this is how it all gets started.

    But I have problems to work on myself. I know I would not like it if either of my white twin daughters were to go out with a black man. Am I a hypocrite? Probably in this instance. As much as I know that my thinking is wrong, I know I am powerless to change it. And until we can face that change as a nation, we will always be a bigoted society.

  9. taco says:

    I know I would not like it if either of my white twin daughters were to go out with a black man.

    One day in the future, hopefully, your kind will die off. Like the dinosaur. I hope it’s soon.

  10. Dmitris says:

    Wait a minute. Ann Coulter writes books? I was always under the impression she plagiarized other people’s books and made million in the process because her publisher is too greedy and stupid to call her bluff?

  11. stradella says:


    I heard that. There’s a shortage of eligible brothers out there and we keep losing them to white women and other men.

    Please, to my white sistas, you know I love ya’ but stop taking all the prime brothers.

  12. Estacada says:

    Not funny and not acceptable.

    I have to agree this is an inside job. Most display windows are inaccessible to customers so this leaves either staff or the cleaning people who come in after the store hours.

    Either way, I find it very offensive.

  13. bradfrmphnx says:

    Fellow posters…My statement about my daughters dating black men was a truthfull statement about how I feel. I know it is wrong to feel like that. I have a lot of black friends who I very much love and appreciate. I came out with an honest statement on my own personal bigotry. I’m sure there are others who hold similar feelings one way or the other if they are honest with themselves. Admitting you are a bigot isn’t easy. But we all have some bigotry within us, which is what I was trying to show. And until we as a nation can learn to accept each other in every way, we will be a nation of cowards when it comes to racism.

    Maybe by being honest and confronting the issue, I can quit being a coward.

  14. lea-lea says:

    My nephew is in middle school and the stuff I hear from him about minorities, gays and women is off the hook!

    I ask him where he hears this stuff and he says all his friends talk like this. They have to display some modicum of self-control in school but as soon as he’s out of the building, his mouth takes over.

    I hope he outgrows it and it doesn’t become a problem for him later on because I tell him, our country and the world is becoming more and more diverse. If he doesn’t learn to get along he won’t be able to get along.

  15. MacDaddy says:

    Shame on you, Barnes & Nobles!

  16. Fran says:

    Brad: I appreciate you posting on your honest feelings, but something struck me about your original post…

    “I know I would not like it if either of my white twin daughters were to go out with a black man. Am I a hypocrite? Probably in this instance. As much as I know that my thinking is wrong, I know I am powerless to change it. ”

    Left me wondering- He realizes he is powerless to change whom his daughters eventually wind up with – because that IS true.

    Or powerless to change his feelings about not wanting his daughters having interracial partners- because that is NOT true.

    You DO have the power to change that perspective, and I hope you would be supportive or accepting of whomever your daughters chose to have as partners, regardless of race, sex, color, creed, etc.

    Lots of parents have to overcome initial bias or non traditional relationships. In best case scenarios, love prevails.

    Life is change!

  17. Buck says:

    This ever up-hill battle… it gets so tiresome.


  18. Allison says:

    Damn. One less place I can shop.

  19. Joe in Colorado says:

    My father is retired military. He was the biggest racist in the state of Colorado. Note, I wrote was, because when he had a his own brush with mortality — a cancer diagnosis, which he survived from, he learned to let go of those beliefs. They were poisoning his soul. Today, 8 years later, he’s a new man. Anyone can change. Anyone.

  20. R.J. says:

    Guess that’s one less bookstore I’ll be shopping at. And one less credit card to carry in my wallet while I’m at it.

  21. DB says:

    I hardly doubt this is a Barnes and Noble endorsed/encouraged stunt. I suspect an employee or a customer did this on their own accord. Sure, the apology might have been weak, but it seems silly to hold the entire chain of stores accountable for what is obviously one moron.

    I can’t even tell you how many times I have seen the Bible placed in random nonfiction sections, but it certainly doesn’t mean that BN put it there.

  22. JollyRoger says:

    It is Florida, after all. There has always been a lot of inbreeding in those swamps…

  23. No Nonsense says:

    Coral Gables– right in my back yard! I am not surprised the area is majority wealthy Latin and mostly GOP supporters. During the election every yard had a McCain/Palin sign.

    I’ll take a look when I pass by to see if customers can get to the window display area. Sounds suspicious to me.

  24. Pingback: Barnes and Noble Displays Their Racism « From the Left « Nifty Spot Gadgets

  25. Panasit (the real one) says:

    Brad, bradfrmphnx, what exactly do you think a Black person will do to your daughters that a white person wouldn’t?

    I’m going to counter this by being racist to the opposite side as much as possible. But these are all facts, so bare with me.

    FACTS: All my black friends have job and make good money, because they do not feel there is any occupation that beneath them. They do delivery, driving buses, being cashier. One of them is a garbageman.

    My white friends, about 50% have a job. But they make less money because they pick and choose jobs. They don’t often work OT, and their ways of having fun (their parties, for example) are much more expensive.

    FACT: My black friends are very family oriented. They have cousins all over the place. They have grandparents, aunt, uncle living with them. They have connections regarding everything. They are very smart and very self aware.

    Most of my white friends, their grandparents are in the old folks home, they hated and try to get away from their parents any chance they get.

    FACT: My Black friends all have big dreams. And they want to make it a reality. It can be stupid stuff like becoming a rapper, but some of them wants to start a business, own a store. My friends want to make films and he shot many short films.

    My White friends, I’ll say about 60% have no idea where they will be in the next 3 years.

    So what’s wrong with dating a guy who is capable, motivated, and family oriented?


    People think that acceptance is denial. Like you think gays are disgusting, you think blacks are violence, but for the sake of being politically correct, lets pretend they are not.

    They are not. It’s the truth.

  26. Paul says:

    Give me a break, liberals. This was a joke. Do you ever get this upset when terrorist behead Africans or little girls? You people are so juvenile.

    Also, no mention of another person (Pres. Bush) who has been portrayed as a monkey (and not just by some bored eight-year old
    at a bookstore) for the past eight years……

    Obama is already the most unimpressive president in US history.

  27. Kahuna says:

    Bush put up with that sort of moronic nonsense for EIGHT YEARS and the Obama crowd is whining after a month?

    They ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Wait until I publish the recipe for my watermelon pie.

  28. Clark Baker says:

    What? Someone replaced the Obama Shrine candles and incense with an animal book? Oh the blasphemy! How dare anyone defile a book about chimpanzees by placing it in an Obama Shrine!

  29. Kahuna says:

    Panasit writes: “My friends want to make films and he shot many short films.”

    In my neighborhood, the blacks shoot each other.

  30. Jerry says:

    Thanks for spreading the word. By speaking out we can identify those still ignorant, and refuse to give them the economic means to spread their hatred. I expect the “backward” to show themselves “backward”.

  31. RealWorldRadical says:

    Oh for christs sakes “Barnes and Noble Displays Their Racism”??? Even if it *were* an B&N employee who did it that would have absoulutely nothing to say about the company — unless you think company’s who’s employees go on murderous rampages are, you know, encouraging that sort of thing.

    And this is the 3rd largest country in the world. We have 300 million people living here. Every dingbat idea imaginable is represented. Picking on one example one way or the other to make any sort of assessment of the population at large or trends in attitudes is just bad science. If I were to apply that logic I’d say this example of extrapolation from a sample size of 1 is representative of the whole US education system.

    Of course, my sample size is a little bigger, because several dingbats here seem to be agreeing with the author.

  32. Jay Wils says:

    COME ON PEOPLE!!! Why are we wasting are time with this when there are very real racist acts going on in this country everyday. Think about it…how easy is it for someone to put a book in a window display. As a Black woman, I DO NOT believe that B&N would do something like that and it is obvious that it was a prank. Marches are being organized, boycotts have been called for…come on let’s put our efforts to more worthy causes…not base our outrage on a picture that has NO proof to substantiate it.

  33. V.E.G. says:

    Take the monkey book out, and replace with an African-American book about Frederick Douglass. Or a picture of technically black man Laurence Herman “Gus” Versluis (his 9th great-grandmother is black.)

  34. V.E.G. says:

    Here is the explanation of Laurence Herman “Gus” Versluis’ black ancestry:
    Martha (black woman) non-marital liaison with a white man Thomas Key
    Elizabeth Key (African and Caucasian woman)
    William Grinstead, Jr.
    William Grinstead, III
    John Grinstead
    Jesse Grinstead
    Jesse Grinstead, Jr.
    Jesse Boles Grinstead
    John Thomas Grinstead
    Clara May Grinstead
    Bonnie Bell Martin
    Laurence Herman “Gus” Versluis!
    Always remember old Gus.

  35. V.E.G. says:

    Kevin Peter Hall plays the role of an ironic character of a monkeylike Bigfoot. Hall is a black man and his remains were cremated per request.

  36. rohit kumar says:

    The post kind of helped me. Well How you get ideas for such posts. sorry if it’s out of topic.

  37. V.E.G. says:

    Actually, Versluis’s ancestor, a black woman, her name is unknown to this day.

  38. V.E.G. says:

    People, try to understand, there is only one race, HUMAN!

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